'Into the Woods' and the Dumbing Down of the Movie Musical

December 31, 2014 11:51 PM

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When I was about seven years old I starred in a community theater production of A Christmas Carol. Or, rather, played a supporting character--Schoolboy, to be exact--because I was too overweight to get the coveted role of Tiny Tim. As the company that produced the show, the Dramateurs, made it a yearly event, I did it for a few seasons until I hit the big leagues and got accepted into the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. So long, suckers!

Being in that theater every year was a highlight of my unpopular youth. I loved every minute: the lights, the audiences, the fake snow; it was magic. Looking back, I realize the show was probably dreadful. Each year they dug out the same sets, used the same director, a woman named Charlotte whom eve...

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